This week I've had an interesting and somewhat distressing experience. A girl in my ward died very suddenly and unexpectedly on Monday night. While I was friendly with her, we weren't close friends or anything, but I still found the news of her death upsetting. It's sad not only because she died at such a tragically young age but also because it was so unexpected.
I'm sure it sounds silly or pathetic, but when you're losing a loved one, hearing about another person's death can be distressing. Such was the case with this. I am grateful that this sister, who had many health challenges, has finally found rest, but my heart breaks for her family and all they must be going through.
Tonight my ward held a memorial service for this sister. I had a feeling it could possibly be hard for me to go, but I was determined to do it anyway. Sometimes we have to do hard things and that's all there is to it.
In any case, I found the service to be both inspiring and uplifting. I was touched as I listened to not only this sister's visiting teacher and our Relief Society president speak, but also her brother's mission president (he's deaf and is serving in the Family History Center in downtown Salt Lake City) and the president of LDSBC where she was attending college. All spoke of her love for the Savior and dedication to the gospel, as well as her warm smile.
The talk that touched me the most, however, was the one given by my bishop. He spoke about living your life in such a way that if you were to suddenly be called home, as Cassie was, that you would be prepared. He also talked about how life is not a group activity. We don't all come at the same time and we are all called to go home at different times. I wish I could recall his exact words but he also talked about how sometimes we can question when someone who seems to be called home at a tragically young age. But death is something we all have to face; none of us can escape it. And he said he's sure Cassie is happy where she is now, perhaps even happier than she's ever been before.
All of this put me in mind of my dear Miss Sassypants who most likely won't be with us for too much longer. Her death also seems to come way too early, but we as her family just have to trust that it's God's will and that soon she will earn her rest too, no matter how hard it is for us to let her go. But there's always the hope that we will see her again and we must hold onto that.
Truthfully, it's making me sad to write this entry, but only because these things are close to my heart. And perhaps because I realized that Cassie is only 10 years older than Miss Sassypants and six months younger than my brother. I hope and pray that her family can find comfort during what is surely a difficult time. If you think about it, can you please include them in your prayers too?
Remember too that in times of mourning and sorrow, the only true way to find relief from pain and suffering is through the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. He has felt all of our pains and sorrows and He stands waiting for us to come to him, so he can offer comfort to our troubled souls. And it's also through his death and resurrection that we can all live again too. Like Nephi said (and was quoted at the service tonight), "I do not know the meaning of all things, but I know that God loveth His children."